Guidelines for sound water management, preventing harm to our magnificent water resources and stopping far off diversions are closer to becoming a regional law for the Great Lakes basin. For this to happen, each of the eight Great Lakes state legislatures must pass the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact. Then, it needs Congressional approval. Minnesota and Illinois have done their part by passing the Compact and significant progress is being made in the other states. Such progress includes (as of the time of printing):
• New York unanimously passed the Compact out of the Senate and Assembly and it is now being delivered to the Governor’s desk.
• Indiana passed the Compact out of the Assembly and Senate. It is awaiting the Governor’s signature.
• Pennsylvania passed the Compact out of the House. It is now in the Assembly Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.
• Ohio almost unanimously passed the Compact out of the House and it is on its way to the Senate where support is building.
• Michigan has bills in the House and Senate, with additional legislation to implement the Compact in their respective committees.
• Wisconsin is expected to introduce a bill and has had an informational hearing on draft Great Lakes Compact legislation.
On the Canadian side, the provinces have agreed to implement similar laws to ensure the entire Great Lakes basin is protected.